Subpart – H Flight Instructors

Table of Content

61.181 Applicability:

This subpart prescribes the requirements for the issuance of flight instructor certificates and ratings, the conditions under which those certificates and ratings are necessary, and the limitations on those certificates and ratings.

61.183 Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible for a flight instructor certificate or rating a person must:

  1. Be at least 21 years of age;
  2. Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language;
  3. Hold either a commercial pilot certificate or airline transport pilot certificate with:
    1. An aircraft category and class rating that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought; and
    2. An instrument rating, or privileges on that person´s pilot certificate that are appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought, if applying for:
      1. A flight instructor certificate with an airplane category and single-engine class rating;
      2. A flight instructor certificate with an airplane category and multiengine class rating;
      3. A flight instructor certificate with a helicopter rating;
      4. A flight instructor certificate with a powered-lift rating; or
      5. A flight instructor certificate with an instrument rating.
  4. Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the fundamentals of instructing listed in 61.185 of this part appropriate to the required knowledge test;
  5. Pass a knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in 61.185(a)(2) and (a)(3) of this part that are appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought;
  6. Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation listed in 61.187(b) of this part, appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought;
  7. Pass the required practical test that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought in an:
    1. Aircraft that is representative of the category and class of aircraft for the aircraft rating sought; or
    2. Flight simulator or approved flight training device that is representative of the category and class of aircraft for the rating sought, and used in accordance with a course at a training center certificated under part 142 of JCAR.
  8. Accomplish the following for a flight instructor certificate with an airplane or a glider rating:
    1. Receive a logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor indicating that the applicant is competent and possesses instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures after providing the applicant with flight training in those training areas in an airplane or glider, as appropriate, that is certificated for spins; and
    2. Demonstrate instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures. However, upon presentation of the endorsement specified in paragraph (i)(1) of this section an examiner may accept that endorsement as satisfactory evidence of instructional proficiency in stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery procedures for the practical test, provided that the practical test is not a retest as a result of the applicant failing the previous test for deficiencies in the knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures. If the retest is a result of deficiencies in the ability of an applicant to demonstrate knowledge or skill of stall awareness, spin entry, spins, or spin recovery instructional procedures, the examiner must test the person on stall awareness, spin entry, spins, and spin recovery instructional procedures in an airplane or glider, as appropriate, that is certificated for spins;
  9. Log at least 15 hours as pilot in command in the category and class of aircraft that is appropriate to the flight instructor rating sought; and
  10. Comply with the appropriate sections of this part that apply to the flight instructor rating sought.
  11. Hold a medical certificate as prescribed in paragraph (a) of section 61.23 of this part.

61.185 Aeronautical knowledge:

  1. A person who is applying for a flight instructor certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor on:
    1. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the fundamentals of instructing, including:
      1. The learning process;
      2. Elements of effective teaching;
      3. Student evaluation and testing;
      4. Course development;
      5. Lesson planning; and
      6. Classroom training techniques.
    2. The aeronautical knowledge areas for private, and commercial pilot certificate applicable to the aircraft category for which flight instructor privileges are sought; and
    3. The aeronautical knowledge areas for the instrument rating applicable to the category for which instrument flight instructor privileges are sought.
  2. The following applicants do not need to comply with paragraph (a)(1) of this section:
    1. The holder of a flight instructor certificate or ground instructor certificate issued under this part; or
    2. A person employed as a teacher at an accredited college or university.

61.187 Flight proficiency:

  1. General. A person who is applying for a flight instructor certificate must receive and log flight and ground training from an authorized instructor on the areas of operation listed in this section that apply to the flight instructor rating sought. The applicant´s logbook must contain an endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that the person is proficient to pass a practical test on those areas of operation.
  2. Areas of operation.
    1. For an airplane category rating with a single-engine class rating:
      1. Fundamentals of instructing;
      2. Technical subject areas;
      3. Preflight preparation;
      4. Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight;
      5. Preflight procedures;
      6. Airport and/or seaplane base operations;
      7. Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      8. Fundamentals of flight;
      9. Performance maneuvers;
      10. Ground reference maneuvers;
      11. Slow flight, stalls, and spins;
      12. Basic instrument maneuvers;
      13. Emergency operations; and
      14. Postflight procedures.
    2. For an airplane category rating with a multiengine class rating:
      1. Fundamentals of instructing;
      2. Technical subject areas;
      3. Preflight preparation;
      4. Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight;
      5. Preflight procedures;
      6. Airport and/or seaplane base operations;
      7. Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      8. Fundamentals of flight;
      9. Performance maneuvers;
      10. Ground reference maneuvers;
      11. Slow flight and stalls;
      12. Basic instrument maneuvers;
      13. Emergency operations;
      14. Multiengine operations; and
      15. Postflight procedures.
    3. For a rotorcraft category rating with a helicopter class rating:
      1. Fundamentals of instructing;
      2. Technical subject areas;
      3. Preflight preparation;
      4. Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight;
      5. Preflight procedures;
      6. Airport and heliport operations;
      7. Hovering maneuvers;
      8. Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      9. Fundamentals of flight;
      10. Performance maneuvers;
      11. Emergency operations;
      12. Special operations; and
      13. Postflight procedures.
    4. For a rotorcraft category rating with a gyroplane class rating:
      1. Fundamentals of instructing;
      2. Technical subject areas;
      3. Preflight preparation;
      4. Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight;
      5. Preflight procedures;
      6. Airport operations;
      7. Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      8. Fundamentals of flight;
      9. Performance maneuvers;
      10. Flight at slow airspeeds;
      11. Ground reference maneuvers;
      12. Emergency operations; and
      13. Postflight procedures.
    5. For a powered-lift category rating:
      1. Fundamentals of instructing;
      2. Technical subject areas;
      3. Preflight preparation;
      4. Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight;
      5. Preflight procedures;
      6. Airport and heliport operations;
      7. Hovering maneuvers;
      8. Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds;
      9. Fundamentals of flight;
      10. Performance maneuvers;
      11. Ground reference maneuvers;
      12. Slow flight and stalls;
      13. Basic instrument maneuvers;
      14. Emergency operations;
      15. Special operations; and
      16. Postflight procedures.
    6. For a glider category rating:
      1. Fundamentals of instructing;
      2. Technical subject areas;
      3. Preflight preparation;
      4. Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight;
      5. Preflight procedures;
      6. Airport and gliderport operations;
      7. Launches, landings, and go-arounds;
      8. Fundamentals of flight;
      9. Performance speeds;
      10. Soaring techniques;
      11. Performance maneuvers;
      12. Slow flight, stalls, and spins;
      13. Emergency operations; and
      14. Postflight procedures.
    7. For an instrument rating with the appropriate aircraft category and class rating:
      1. Fundamentals of instructing;
      2. Technical subject areas;
      3. Preflight preparation;
      4. Preflight lesson on a maneuver to be performed in flight;
      5. Air traffic control clearances and procedures;
      6. Flight by reference to instruments;
      7. Navigation aids;
      8. Instrument approach procedures;
      9. Emergency operations; and
      10. Postflight procedures.
  3. The flight training required by this section may be accomplished:
    1. In an aircraft that is representative of the category and class of aircraft for the rating sought; or
    2. In a flight simulator or flight training device representative of the category and class of aircraft for the rating sought, and used in accordance with an approved course at a training center certificated under part 142 of JCAR.

61.189 Flight instructor records:

  1. A flight instructor must sign the logbook of each person to whom that instructor has given flight training or ground training.
  2. A flight instructor must maintain a record in a logbook or a separate document that contains the following:
    1. The name of each person whose logbook or student pilot certificate that instructor has endorsed for solo flight privileges, and the date of the endorsement; and
    2. The name of each person that instructor has endorsed for a knowledge test or practical test, and the record shall also indicate the kind of test, the date, and the results.
  3. Each flight instructor must retain the records required by this section for at least 3 years.

61.191 Additional flight instructor ratings:

  1. A person who applies for an additional flight instructor rating on a flight instructor certificate must meet the eligibility requirements listed in 61.183 of this part that apply to the flight instructor rating sought.
  2. A person who applies for an additional rating on a flight instructor certificate is not required to pass the knowledge test on the areas listed in 61.185(a)(1) of this part.

61.193 Flight instructor privileges:

A person who holds a flight instructor certificate is authorized within the limitations of that person´s flight instructor certificate and ratings to give training and endorsements that are required for, and relate to:

  1. A student pilot certificate;
  2. A pilot certificate;
  3. A flight instructor certificate;
  4. A ground instructor certificate;
  5. An aircraft rating;
  6. An instrument rating;
  7. A flight review, operating privilege, or recency of experience requirement of this part;
  8. A practical test; and
  9. A knowledge test.

61.195 Flight instructor limitations and qualifications:

A person who holds a flight instructor certificate is subject to the following limitations:

  1. Hours of training. In any 24-consecutive-hour period, a flight instructor may not conduct more than 8 hours of flight training.
  2. Aircraft ratings. A flight instructor may not conduct flight training in any aircraft for which the flight instructor does not hold:
    1. A pilot certificate and flight instructor certificate with the applicable category and class rating; and
    2. If appropriate, a type rating.
  3. Instrument Rating. A flight instructor who provides instrument flight training for the issuance of an instrument rating or a type rating not limited to VFR must hold an instrument rating on his or her flight instructor certificate and pilot certificate that is appropriate to the category and class of aircraft in which instrument training is being provided.
  4. Limitations on endorsements. A flight instructor may not endorse a:
    1. Student pilot´s certificate or logbook for solo flight privileges, unless that flight instructor has:
      1. Given that student the flight training required for solo flight privileges required by this part; and
      2. Determined that the student is prepared to conduct the flight safely under known circumstances, subject to any limitations listed in the student´s logbook that the instructor considers necessary for the safety of the flight.
    2. Student pilot´s certificate and logbook for a solo cross-country flight, unless that flight instructor has determined the student´s flight preparation, planning, equipment, and proposed procedures are adequate for the proposed flight under the existing conditions and within any limitations listed in the logbook that the instructor considers necessary for the safety of the flight;
    3. Logbook of a pilot for a flight review, unless that instructor has conducted a review of that pilot in accordance with the requirements of 61.56(a) of this part; or
    4. Logbook of a pilot for an instrument proficiency check, unless that instructor has tested that pilot in accordance with the requirements of 61.57(d) of this part.
  5. Training in an aircraft that requires a type rating. A flight instructor may not give flight training in an aircraft that requires the pilot in command to hold a type rating unless the flight instructor holds a type rating for that aircraft on his or her pilot certificate.
  6. Training received in a multiengine airplane, a helicopter, or a powered-lift. A flight instructor may not give training required for the issuance of a certificate or rating in a multiengine airplane, a helicopter, or a powered-lift unless that flight instructor has at least 5 flight hours of pilot-in-command time in the specific make and model of multiengine airplane, helicopter, or powered-lift, as appropriate.
  7. Position in aircraft and required pilot stations for providing flight training.
  8. Qualifications of the flight instructor for training first-time flight instructor applicants.
    1. The ground training provided to an initial applicant for a flight instructor certificate must be given by an authorized instructor who:
      1. Holds a current ground or flight instructor certificate with the appropriate rating, has held that certificate for at least 24 months, and has given at least 40 hours of ground training; or
      2. Holds a current ground or flight instructor certificate with the appropriate rating, and has given at least 100 hours of ground training in a CAA-approved course.
    2. Except for an instructor who meets the requirements of paragraph (h)(3)(ii) of this section, a flight instructor who provides training to an initial applicant for a flight instructor certificate must:
      1. Meet the eligibility requirements prescribed in 61.183 of this part;
      2. Hold the appropriate flight instructor certificate and rating;
      3. Have held a flight instructor certificate for at least 24 months;
      4. For training in preparation for an airplane, rotorcraft, or powered-lift rating, have given at least 200 hours of flight training as a flight instructor; and
      5. For training in preparation for a glider rating, have given at least 80 hours of flight training as a flight instructor.
    3. A flight instructor who serves as a flight instructor in a CAA-approved course for the issuance of a flight instructor rating must hold a current flight instructor certificate with the appropriate rating and pass the required initial and recurrent flight instructor proficiency tests, in accordance with the requirements of the part under which the CAA-approved course is conducted, and must:
      1. Meet the requirements of paragraph (h)(2) of this section; or
      2. Have trained and endorsed at least five applicants for a practical test for a pilot certificate, flight instructor certificate, ground instructor certificate, or an additional rating, and at least 80 percent of those applicants passed that test on their first attempt; and
        1. Given at least 400 hours of flight training as a flight instructor for training in an airplane, a rotorcraft, or for a powered-lift rating; or
        2. Given at least 100 hours of flight training as a flight instructor, for training in a glider rating.
  9. Prohibition against self-endorsements. A flight instructor shall not make any self-endorsement for a certificate, rating, flight review, authorization, operating privilege, practical test, or knowledge test that is required by this part.
  10. Additional qualifications required to give training in Category II or Category III operations. A flight instructor may not give training in Category II or Category III operations unless the flight instructor has been trained and tested in Category II or Category III operations, pursuant to 61.67 or 61.68 of this part, as applicable.

61.197 Renewal of flight instructor certificates:

  1. A person who holds a flight instructor certificate that has not expired may renew that certificate by:
    1. Passing a practical test for:
      1. One of the ratings listed on the current flight instructor certificate; or
      2. An additional flight instructor rating; or
    2. Presenting to an authorized CAA Flight Safety Inspector:
      1. A record of training students showing that, during the preceding 24 calendar months, the flight instructor has endorsed at least five students for a practical test for a certificate or rating and at least 80 percent of those students passed that test on the first attempt;
      2. A record showing that, within the preceding 24 calendar months, the flight instructor has served as a company check pilot, chief flight instructor, company check airman, or flight instructor in a part 121 or part 135 operation, or in a position involving the regular evaluation of pilots; or
      3. A graduation certificate showing that, within the preceding 3 calendar months, the person has successfully completed an approved flight instructor refresher course consisting of ground training or flight training, or a combination of both.
  2. The expiration month of a renewed flight instructor certificate shall be 24 calendar months from:
    1. The renewal requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are accomplished within the 3 calendar months preceding the expiration month of the current flight instructor certificate, and
    2. If the renewal is accomplished under paragraph (a)(2)(iii) of this section, the approved flight instructor refresher course must be completed within the 3 calendar months preceding the expiration month of the current flight instructor certificate.
  3. The practical test required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section may be accomplished in a flight simulator or flight training device if the test is accomplished pursuant to an approved course conducted by a training center certificated under part 142 of JCAR.

61.199 Expired flight instructor certificates and ratings:

  1. Flight instructor certificates. The holder of an expired flight instructor certificate may exchange that certificate for a new certificate with the same ratings by passing a practical test as prescribed in 61.183(h) of this part for one of the ratings listed on the expired flight instructor certificate.
  2. Flight instructor ratings.
    1. A flight instructor rating or a limited flight instructor rating on a pilot certificate is no longer valid and may not be exchanged for a similar rating or a flight instructor certificate.
    2. The holder of a flight instructor rating or a limited flight instructor rating on a pilot certificate may be issued a flight instructor certificate with the current ratings, but only if the person passes the required knowledge and practical test prescribed in this subpart for the issuance of the current flight instructor certificate and rating.

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